Studying an effect

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 05/10/05 12:28 PM

Hi all, I have a friend who has recently taken up magic he likes card magic , coin magic basically anything close up but what he wants to know is what is the best way to learn a new trick. I have told him how i learn a new effect say for instance i am learning a card trick i read the effect 4 or 5 times then i read it again and visualize all the moves and what is happening at that time then i read it again with a deck of cards in my hand. My friend prefers learning magic by books. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Best Regards
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Postby Guest » 05/10/05 01:03 PM

Well what I do is I read the effect first and if I like it I will then reread it with cards in hand going move for move with the book. I will then close the book and try to do the effect again, if I forget something I go to that part in the effect and figure out what I did wrong. Then I start from the beginning. I keep doing this until I can do the effect without messing up. I then work on presentation(I won't go into my presentation work). I then try it out for everyone I see and get feedback.
Hope this helps

Brandon
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Postby Guest » 05/10/05 01:45 PM

Well, I'm with Brandon. That is exactly how I learn my new ones.

When it comes to books, I like to read the entire book first, without ANY distractions. Once I feel I have mentally absorbed all of the concepts, I will go back through the book with cards, etc... in hand. I will practice the moves first, WITH the book. Next, I will try the moves (with book nearby for reference) WITHOUT the book.

Once I can perform all of the mechanics with no troubles, I will work on my presentation. This work usually comes through performing, adapting and refining in front of friends, family, etc... ONLY when I have mastered THAT presentation, will I perform the routine in public. The evolution continues here, but the final product is much closer to my version of perfect.

Hope this helps.

Kevin
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Postby Brian Rasmussen » 05/23/05 09:32 AM

I'm still discovering this topic for myself. I have recently read The Ostrich Factor and I feel comfortable suggesting it as a means to study effects, sleights, and build your presentations. Another source I have consulted are the essays in Card College regarding the Study of Card Magic (I think it is Vol 2 but not certain). At any rate, these days I'm developing systems that automatically filter out effects that would not fit my character etc. You can find good information on this in the Michael Close essays from Closely Guarded Secrets and espeically his Workers series..highly recommened for the theory even if you never learn one of the effects. For actually learning a trick I do read it a few times, go through moves, and begin to think of possible presentation themes. Sometimes I've found that I need to spend considerable time on a certain sleight for a routine before I can even worry about learning the rest of the trick. I do not find difficulty in having to be patient like this. As I get older I'm finding that it IS more important to do sleights because effects call for them, not just collecting sleights for the heck of it. You will find this same philosophy expressed in more detail in some of the works above.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/23/05 09:40 AM

Originally posted by The Magician:
...what is the best way to learn a new trick...
That's a tough one. If I see the thing done, I can process the choreography separately from the sleights and procedure. That done, I can work on each sleight till it functions out of context and assemble the routine later for rehearsals. I like to break down routines into effects and get each of them working, then smooth the transition between each effect. Notice I wrote "effects", as that is how the thing will be perceived by an audience.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Gerald » 05/27/05 02:36 AM

Thank you, Brian for the comments about The Ostrich Factor. For those who might be interested, you can read detailed reviews at:
http://www.geraldedmundson.com/tof1/TOFReviews.htm

Thanks again, Brian!

Regards,
Gerald
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Postby Guest » 07/09/05 08:40 AM

Is there detailed information about misdirection in the book?

Thanks,

Sanchomo
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Postby Tabman » 07/09/05 09:51 AM

The way I do it is to read the text several times and then break it down to move by move and write it down. It makes it easier for me to learn this way. Many writers add a lot of extra verbage between the actual moves and this is distracting to me so if Im sure its something I want to learn I break it down myself.

For an example of this you can email the autoresponder I set up to distrubute the moves breakdown for Jerry Andrus' Double Dimension from a recent Genii story on Jerry. To see what I'm talking about send an email to jerrystrick@questx.com.

No, I don't do this for everything, only stuff I'm sure I want to spend time on. I spent the time to perfect Double Dimension and the notes made the difference. It's a sweet piece of magic.

An article in Genii by Robert Giobbi inspired me to break effects down in this fashion, however this is my own take on it.

-=tabman
http://tabmantables.com
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Postby Gerald » 07/15/05 09:08 AM

Sanchomo,
Yes, there is a complete chapter "Misdirection - The Heart of the Art." Thanks for your interest.

Regards,

Gerald
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Postby mark » 07/15/05 09:38 PM

Gerald, not to hijack the thread, but I am an Ostrich Factor convert as well. Of all the things I picked up at this year's LVMI (aside from the friendships), I value your book the most highly. Wonderful job!
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Postby Gerald » 08/07/05 05:48 AM

Thank you for the comments, Mark! I'm glad you found the ideas in The Ostrich Factor useful.

Thanks again!

Gerald
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Postby Guest » 08/11/05 02:29 PM

Gerald,
I got the book and it is really excellent! Congratulations on a great contribution to the literature! The reviewers were right! Thanks for sharing your experience!

Among the new concepts (to me), the sections on the life connection, the five elements of movement and the applications of the rule of thirds were very helpful. I like that these are not presented just as abstract theories, but actual practice methods in a how to format.

I appreciate your work, Gerald!

Sanchomo
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